In this issue:

Navigator News
Melonseed Madness
More from the Mailbag


During the last boat show we were contacted by Dieter Loibner of Soundings magazine. Soundings is one of the premier boating magazines in the Eastern US, so when Dieter asked if he could visit our shop for a test sail and possible magazine article, we were flattered and glad to accept his offer. In June Dieter came by and we had a very nice visit. We sailed and rowed a 17′ Jersey skiff, and the weather happily cooperated. Sunny weather is never a sure bet in the Pacific Northwest, and even more so this year, as we experienced a “Juneuary” that was the wettest and coldest June on record in 35 years. But this day was stunning – clear crisp sun, the mountains were out, and our classic Gig Harbor 8-knot thermals were blowing steadily. Dieter submitted and published the following article in the July Soundings.

On Sailboats: Muscle power and wind are all you need – by Dieter Loibner(.pdf)
Reprinted with permission from Soundings Publications, LLC.




We have lots of new stories and tidbits of information from Gig Harbor Boat owners around the world. Let’s start this issue with reports from a couple of Navigator owners.

Our first story comes from Trevor Maclaughlin, who operated one of the largest yacht brokerages in Seattle before deciding to hang it up for a while and go sailing. He bought a 10′ Navigator from us several years ago and sent us this update. Sharp-eyed followers of our website will notice this is the same boat featured as the lead boat on our 10′ Navigator homepage, the picture with the dog standing on the bowsprit. Trevor says,

Hi Dave –
I think I may still be one of your happiest customers. We’ve been sailing our Navigator for 12 years now (through 2 cruising sailboats), and my trusty tender is well travelled (incuding a car topped tour across the states and back)! You may remember me when I managed the now defunct Offshore Store…you’ve also got a shot of my wife and dog on your web site. Well, I decided to go cruising. I’m wrapping up a 2 year trip through Central America and now find myself in Miami. Now I did go with an inflatable RIB for daily use, but I just couldn’t leave my trusty Navigator behind. I’ve sailed it in almost every country we’ve cruised in. I plan on rigging up for a sail in Miami tomorrow!

Attached is a photo of my little girl “learning the ropes” – I think she’s telling me how to trim. The other shot is me “pushing it” in the Caribbean trades; sometimes I have to hike out (probably not recommended for regular customers). 🙂 I have many more good dinghy shots (in higher resolution), in case you are interested.

Anyway, I’m putting Lea Scotia on a ship for a return to Victoria in 2 weeks, so I look forward to getting together with you after I’m back in Seattle. Feel free to use my photos as promotional material but I’d appreciate a photo credit.

All the best – I wouldn’t cruise without a Gig Harbor tender.

SV Lea Scotia

Photos courtesy of Trevor Maclaughlin





Another owner of a 10-foot navigator dinghy, Russell in Alabama, uses his navigator in less challenging circumstances, primarily fishing in quiet waters.

“This beautiful little Navigator was delivered to us in Southside, Alabama during the summer of 2007. It is often getting a workout cruising the Coosa River or Guntersville Lake and never fails to attract lots of attention. Light, stable and versatile it suits our needs perfectly.

The photo was taken two weeks ago on a fishing trip to Guntersville Lake (Tennessee River system). The Navigator usually sports a Honda 2 HP motor but, on this particular trip, it was oars only.

Great boat…we love it!”

Russell & Carol Petch



We have built and delivered quite a few Melonseed Skiffs during the past few months. We introduced the Sailing version of the Melonseed only 2 years ago, yet it has become our most popular boat! So it’s no wonder our inbox has been flooded this month with letters from Melonseed owners out enjoying their boats during their summer adventures. Here are a few of their stories.

Mark’s boat has all the bells and whistles; tandem rowing, African Mahogany trim, electric propulsion, the works! His first report:

Well, I launched the Melonseed over the weekend, and I am VERY impressed with her! I’ve rowed her (standard oars and forward rowing system), sailed her, and even ran the electric propulsion a bit. All work very well. I was particularly amazed how well she sails – and also how simple the balanced lug rig is. Wow! My wife, Peggy, says the Melonseed is a keeper! We even dropped anchor out on Campbell Lake Saturday evening with a picnic dinner. Dropped the sail, enjoyed a relaxing meal out on the water, and then raised the sail back up to sail home. Perfect! I know the Melonseed will allow me to get my family out on the water a lot more! Again, thank you, the Melonseed is GORGEOUS – and I’m anxious to try sliding seat rowing with my traditional sculls soon too!





Another new Melonseed owner, Frank, ordered a beautiful Melonseed Sailboat as a surprise Christmas present for his family in Ohio. Yep, it was definitely a surprise when it arrived during a Christmas blizzard! So it was several months before Frank could finally launch and experience what his boat could do.

“Hi Dave,

I had a lovely weekend at the lake house and I wanted you to know that whenever I’m here now I row around the island first thing in the morning. The boat is a dream and I truly enjoy it. I get constant compliments on it from boaters and fishermen. I can even sail it decently.

Thank you,”


And here’s one more! Mike has his Melonseed sailboat on Lake Cushman, located in the Southern part of Washington’s Olympic mountains. He has only been out twice so far, but says she is perfect for their mountain lake.

I thought you might like to know that the Melonseed we purchased performs wonderfully on Lake Cushman. We’ve finally had a chance to get her in the water and do some rowing. What a blast! Here are some pictures of my son, John, and me trying to synchronize our rowing this past weekend.

Mike Hanaway




…We just helped our son bring his boat from Ensenada, Mexico to Benicia, California where we came upon Jim Rogers and Betty Heian on ALICE J.

They own your Whitehall… which they bought second hand. They are very proud of her and should be. Lyn and I rowed her around the Benicia Marina to the positive comments of many and our thorough enjoyment.

Unfortunately, we only had one chance to go for a row, but hope to have others in the future.

Knick and Lyn Pyles